King's College London

Research portal

Age trends in biliary tract cancer incidence by anatomical subtype: A Swedish cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Rithva Rahman, Jonas F. Ludvigsson, Erik von Seth, Jesper Lagergren, Annika Bergquist, Cecilia Radkiewicz

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
PublishedNov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: CR received funding from Region Stockholm , grant number: FoUI-963792 . The funders had no role in the planning or execution of the study. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s)

King's Authors


Aim: Studies from Western countries suggest that early-onset biliary tract cancer, a rare malignancy originating from the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma) or gallbladder, is increasing. We performed a population-based cohort study to outline age trends in biliary tract cancer incidence in Sweden. Methods: All patients with biliary tract cancer, excluding non-biliary chiefly hepatocellular histopathology, recorded in the Swedish Cancer Register in year 1993–2019 and at age 20–84 were included. Analyses were stratified by anatomical subtype; intrahepatic, gallbladder, perihilar, distal, and not specified. We analyzed absolute incidence rates by calendar period (1993–2001, 2002–2010, and 2011–2019) and annual percentage change (APC) including 95% confidence intervals (CI) across 1993–2019 for all ages and stratified into younger (20–54 years) and older (55–84 years) patients. Results: Among 14,083 patients with biliary tract cancer, 1377 (9.8%) were younger. Gallbladder cancer incidence decreased (APC -2.82, 95% CI: −3.18–-2.46), while intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma increased (APC 1.74, 95% CI: 1.30–2.18), and the latter surpassed gallbladder as the most common subtype during the study period. While both intrahepatic and perihilar cholangiocarcinoma increased in both age groups, the rise was most prominent in younger adults, APC 3.01, 95% CI: 1.84–4.20 and 3.93, 95% CI: 2.08–5.81, respectively. Conclusion: Intrahepatic and perihilar cholangiocarcinoma are increasing in Sweden and more so younger adults. Further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying reasons behind the observed trends.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454